The President's Commission to Investigate the Gulf Oil Spill: Looking Into a 'Whole Series of Problems That Were Festering'

As we reported last night , President Obama intends to sign an executive order to form a presidential commission to investigate the Gulf oil spill.

The president made the decision over the weekend after it became clear not only that BP had not adequately prepared for a worst-case scenario but that the primary federal agency responsible for regulating the industry – the Minerals Management Service – was too “cozy” with the oil industry, as the president charged on Friday.

President Obama hopes the commission will be in the tradition of President Reagan’s commission to look into the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster, or President Carter’s commission investigating the disaster at Three Mile Island in 1979.

In those two incidents, and this one, a senior administration official tells ABC News, “something happened of a catastrophic nature” and when looking into what went wrong "it became clear that there were a whole series of problems that were festering.”

The commission will have seven members, none of whom will be current public officials or government employees. The commission will issue its recommendations within six months of convening, so roughly by November or December of this year. An administration official tells ABC News that the commission will be subject to the Federal Advisory Committee Act.

-Jake Tapper

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